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Dynamic Campaign FAQ by dwm042

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 04/11/2012

                              By David Myers.

A compendium of game information obtained from players active on the message
boards of Gamefaqs.com and Gaijin Ent's Birds of Steel message boards. The
focus of this FAQ is the beginning player, one with little or no
flying simulator experience.

contacting the author: by email, dwm042@email.com 

If you email me, please use the subject: BIRDS OF STEEL
I'm on the GameFaqs Birds of Steel message boards as dwm042.

i. Legal Stuff

This Faq is copyrighted (C) 2012 by David Myers. All rights are
reserved. This FAQ is not to be distributed unless you are explicitly listed
on the distribution list below. Authors that I have quoted retain their
own copyright to their words. I use their comments under fair use. Please
treat their contributions as having a copyright of their own, and if you
quote them, please say so.

Distribution List:

1) The author
2) Gamefaqs.com
3) Gaijin Entertainment, should they provide storage for BOS faqs.

That's it! All other distribution points are unauthorized.	

Table of Contents

0. Updates

1. Introduction
      1A. About This FAQ
      1B. What are War Points? What are Experience Points?
      1C. What can I do with War Points?
      1D. Where can I get War Points?
      1E. So what's the advantage in Dynamic Campaigns?
      1F. How many War Points do I get for a Dynamic Campaign?
      1G. Flying Sims are hard! How should I start?
      1H. Which console was used in putting together this FAQ?

2.    Starting a Dynamic Campaign
      2A. Initial Choices.
      2B. Missions in a Dynamic Campaign.
      2C. Missions and Planes to start with.

3.    Winning Battles in the Dynamic Campaign.
      3A. Air Combat Patrols
      3B. Ground Attack
      3C. Ship Attack

4.    Advanced Techniques
      4A. Tactics
      4B. Realistic versus Simplified
      4C. Stalls and Spins
      4D. Programming a Stick 

5. Things I need for this FAQ to Grow

6. Resources and Notes

7. About the Author


ver 1.1 - Fixed typo in Thrustmaster mapping. Added some detail to the
          descriptions of ground attack. Added some notes about
          beginning from the Japanese side. Added discussion of how
          many War Points you get in a dynamic campaign. Also added
          a brief discussion of flying a heavy fast plane.
ver 1.0 - initial version of the FAQ.


1A. About this FAQ:

The style of this FAQ is what I call a compendium. I'm not the author of
many of the ideas in this document (except for large parts of the 
introduction). Other people are. I am going to try and give as much credit
to the people who actually did the hard work on a per-section basis. If
you see someone's name or handle in parentheses, that means that a gamefaq
player contributed directly to this document. So if you see something 

Then Foo wrote a message on a message board that I read and used as source
material in this FAQ.

Often I will quote authors directly, in which case this document is using
their words under fair use and my use does not invalidate any copyright
of their own. Quotes may be edited for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

From Calvin Coolidge:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not;
nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is
full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are
omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the
problems of the human race."

1B. What are War Points? What are Experience Points?

These are points you can collect by playing certain online and offline
missions. Experience points, or XP, increase your rank and unlock 
planes that you can purchase. War Points, or WP, are the coin you
use to purchase planes.
1C. What can I do with War Points?

You can use war points to purchase planes. You also use War Points
to repair planes in the online games during matches.
1D. Where can I get War Points?

There are two main ways to accumulate War Points. The first is by
online play in Versus mode. The second is by playing a Dynamic
Campaign, in online or offline mode.
1E. So what's the advantage in Dynamic Campaigns?
Dyanmic campaigns can be played offline. So you can accumulate and
test a few planes without being exposed to the cut and thrust of
the online player versus player battles at an early stage. It
allows you to enjoy the game without facing too many harsh
challenges early on.
1F. How many War Points do I get for a Dynamic Campaign?

It depends on the number of missions you play, and the kinds of 
missions you play. Each mission scores a number of War Points.
Afterwards, there is a bonus for winning the campaign, which 
initially is 2400 War Points per won mission. For a 3 sector
campaign, that makes your bonus 7200 War Points. If you lose
the campaign, initially you get a 240 war point bonus for 
each lost mission.

That said, the value of missions decreases over time, and on
certain campaigns, my campaign bonus has been cut in half. The
only fix is to start flying missions with new planes in new
1G. Flying Sims are Hard! How should I start?

I recommend that you use the 'Simplified' difficulty setting, unless
you're experienced with flight simulations. You should also play
through the Historical Pre-War scenarios, as they form a tutorial 
for the basic skills of flying planes in Birds of Steel.
1H. Which console was used in putting together this FAQ?

This FAQ is written from the point of view of a PS3 player. I assume
much of the information will be useful to a XBOX 360 player, though
specific buttons and such should be had from other players of the
Microsoft console.

2. Starting a Dynamic Campaign.
2A. Initial Choices

The main menu of Birds of Steel has the following choices:


From this menu select MISSIONS. You will see:


From here select DYNAMIC CAMPAIGN

The campaigns are:


We'll discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of the campaigns
later, though in my opinion, the best campaign for the raw beginner is
the one on Wake Island.

Once you choose a campaign, you're left with a screen where you
select various characteristics of the campaign at hand.

The GAME MODE Line will only appear if you are logged into PSN when you
begin this game. If you're not logged in, it assumes OFFLINE mode and
that selection does not appear.

YEAR                  - choices are 1940 through 1945, or "Any"
TEAM                  - choices are ALLIES or AXIS
DIFFICULTY LEVEL      - Simplified, Realistic, or Simulation
GAME MODE             - Create Online Game, Create Private Game, or
                        Play Offline

Choose the specifics of the Campaign you would like. If you're a raw
beginner to the game, you'll want to choose 1941 or 1942, ALLIES,
FRIENDLY, Simplified, and Offline.
2B. Missions in a Dynamic Campaign

There are many different kinds of Missions in a Dynamic Campaign.

The choices include (and this may not be all the choices):

Head to Head Combat
Air Combat Patrol
Artillery Bombing Mission
City Bombing Mission
Carrier Bombing Mission
Ship Bombing Mission
Intercept Bombers Mission
Bombers Cover Mission
Tank Defend from Bombers
Tank Defend from Assault
Artillery Defend from Bombers
Artillery Defend from Assault
Tanks Ground Attack Mission
Artillery Ground Attack Mission
Vehicles Ground Attack Mission
Ships Attack Mission
Cover Ground Attack
2C. Missions and Planes to Start with

The easiest campaign, in my opinion, is the Wake Island campaign, and
the easiest mission to begin to fly is the Air Combat Patrol (CAP)

Why so?

* You face fewer targets at a time in the CAP mission.
* Wake Island creates fewer situations where you face heavy flak.
* The Brewster Buffalo flies better in my hands than any other
  beginning plane, and is a match, in Simplified mode, for the
  Zeroes it will face.

It would seem that the Zero would be a good starting plane, but
in my experience, the swarms of Buffalos it faced made the
scenarios impossible to win.

Planes I like post Brewster include the Wildcat (for more 1942
missions), the Hurricane (makes playing Malta possible), the
Boomerang (surprisingly nimble, and with heavy guns), the
IL-2 (a good early ground attack plane), the P-40E (another
good ground attack plane).

Once you have the P-40E and the IL-2, start trying some ground
attack missions with these two planes (Port Moresby and the
Kuban). With the IL-2, practice killing targets with as few
rockets as possible and as quickly as possible. Though the
War points for ground attack missions are much lower than
Air Combat Patrols, they can be won much faster.

Avoid Midway as a beginner. Avoid the Kuban with early model
Russian fighters. The IL-2 makes it winnable via ground attack
missions. Malta is semi playable, in my hands, with a mix of
CAP missions with the Hurricane, and ground attack with the
P-40. Port Moresby is another location more suitable to beginners.

Ground attack missions wear well, as this comment illustrates:


For those of you who only get their WP in single player, I've got your
solution, and its probably faster or at least on par with multiplayer.

First of all your priority should be to get the American fighters only.
You want the high speed fighters. Once you've acquired at least the F4UD
you're ready to go, but keep unlocking and buying until you have the

Play Dynamic Campaign, Battle of Port Moresby, Allies. Start with
simplified if thats your comfort zone, but once you get the feel
realistic is just as easy. Now you're ready to roll in the WP. Look for
the tank, vehicle or arty bombing missions that use the high speed
fighters with rockets or bombs. Time is the key so start in flight.
Now take it easy, throttle up to 100% and look over your map so you
know where the target location is going to be and get that location
set in your head.

Now just wait for the enemy fighters to show up, they usually come
at you head on. As soon as the fighters make their pass and start
their turns to come after you, dive and hit WEP. Get your speed up
to 650ish, level off and WEP once in awile to keep your speed up,
those enemy fighters are long gone. Head for your bombing run, now
this part is key, you've ditched the enemy, but they are back there
and they are ALL coming as fast as they can so time on target is key.
Hit your objective and get out of Dodge. Once your objective is
destroyed hit WEP and head for the deck, circle around the pack and
head straight for your end mission objective and use WEP to stay
ahead of the pack. Mission time, around 5min, WP reward (realistic)
around 2000WP, 3 missions 15 min, camp reward 7200WP... so around
14000WP every 15 min. 

Now the Corsair and Mustangs are pure gravy, done right the Japanese
planes will never catch you, total milk run. But you may not always
get those planes as an option and youll have to do it with something
slower like a Hellcat. The high end Japanese fighters can catch you
on the flat but remember that you can get faster speeds in a dive.
So the problem is going to be getting home after the target gets
destroyed, thats when the enemy fighters will catch you. Key here is
to hug the deck, and hold down the WEP, the map is pretty hilly so
stay as close to the deck as you can (I'm talking hearing trees rustle
close) if you stay really close to the ground, especially going over
mountains your pursuers will most likely plow into the ground. If
not and you're starting to take rounds switch to another aircraft,
WEP and hit the deck. It actually can be quite fun and exhilarating
trying to get away by hugging the deck in the slower fighters.

Oh and always remember, as soon as your objective is complete, check
to see where the rest of your flight is, one of them might be waay back
where you came from and a quick plane switch puts you halfway home and
KMs away from the nearest enemy fighter.. 


I recently acquired a Corsair and can attest to its tank busting skills.
I had no issues with the Hellcat either. Tank busting missions are
also possible with the I-16, though this plane is so temperamental
that it stalls often even in simplified mode.

The Japanese ideal for CAP.

Campaigns : Guadalcanal or Midway.


Play Guadalcanal and play as the Japanese and set the year to 1943.
Set the victory conditions to 3 victories and play only head-to-head
missions. Your starting plane should be the Zero floatplane (which has
0.30 cal machine guns and cannons) and the enemy should be
Wildcats/Hellcats. You'll have to destroy either 4 or 8 planes a
mission and each mission nets 350-555 war points with an additional
3400-3800 war points for total victory. You can play this as many times
as you want to purchase better planes.


After I read this, I tested 1942 and Japanese. Midway is *much* easier
from the Japanese side. The Zero floatplane has powerful guns but can
stall, even in simplified. Though EyeOweU1 mentions head-to-head, that's
usually an encounter with 20 or more enemy planes at once. CAP missions
offer planes in groups of 4 to 8.

The A6M2 Zero, in Midway, versus Wildcats, is as close to a mismatch as
any I've seen in the game.

3. Winning Battles in the Dynamic Campaign
3A. Air Combat Patrol

There are no magic formula for winning, without practice, but we
will be assuming that you're a beginner and playing in Simplified
mode. In this case, you're not flying a plane so much as a missile,
and even though you can stall in this mode you automatically

Though the yellow targets seem to suggest a height, I'd suggest flying
higher, on average, than the middle of the bull's eye and also 
flying at about 100% throttle. You want to be flying high and fast,
to optimize the number of times you're above the enemy. 7000 feet has
been better for me than 5000 feet, but on some missions I've been
jumped by Zeroes coming from 12,000 feet. You play dynamic missions
and you take your chances.

When enemies appear, select one or two, and try to squeeze off a 
burst as they approach. Planes die much more quickly in simulated
mode than they do in realistic, and you want to take advantage of
that. Hit them first. If you knock one out of the sky before the
dogfight begins, you're that much better off.

Don't be surprised if the enemy has much better fighters in 1942
(or 1943) than they should have historically. It's typical to 
see Tonys (Kawasaki Ki-61) in 1942 and Bf-109-Gs well before
they were introduced. I have problems with Bf-109s, as they're
just too fast to easily counter, but Tonys die easily in simplified.
3B. Tank and Artillery Ground Attack

I find these to be easy missions in the Kuban, once you get used
to them, and fast to do. I use a IL-2. I come in fast, at least 4000
feet and more normally about 7000 feet. I dive onto the target,
using a steep, high angle attack. Lower angle attacks will suffer.
Trees will block your rockets.

I try to get my target a hair above the tank, and I squeeze off
one or two rockets. I generally fire in between 1000-2000 feet.
I use a faster throttle than the dive bombing tutorial suggests,
and I still get good results.

Since you can't burn out your engines in Simplified, and a Il-2
on WEP gets 400 or more mph, WEP out at low level once you've killed
enough tanks for victory.
3B. Ship Ground Attack

I don't find ship ground attacks to be reliable, but the occasional
P-40E mission after a ship is a good change of pace. If the flak
is too heavy, you're doomed. But sometimes you can squeeze off an
interesting win by bombing out a ship.

I've use dive bombing technique with the P-40. It would be interesting
to know if a faster downward approach works, as in tank attack.
Update: Too fast and the bombs in the bomb target image turn red and
won't destroy the target once they've hit.

4. Advanced Techniques
4A. Tactics

The Loop

Simple, but it's a way to get behind a plane, and it's also a way
to lose some distance without slowing down so much you fall out of
the air. Sometimes I find it easier to shoot at 1000 feet than 100

Barrel Roll

I use this to lose some distance when I'm behind a plane and
need a better firing angle.

An IL-2 1946 Barrel Roll video:


Rocking and Rolling

If you think of the arc of a barrel roll as an 'O', this is simply
rolling one way and then the other, in a see-saw fashion, across the
bottom of the 'O'. This is useful while climbing, when you see tracers
start going over your head. You'll see the computer opponents doing
this at times as well. I suspect this tactic has a formal name

Boom and Zoom

This is where you take advantage of an altitude advantage to descend
upon an opponent and then at the bottom  of your descent, to climb
again to be above your enemy. Tonys will do this, especially when
damaged. Bf-109Gs live on this in the Kuban. Most American planes
adapt nicely to this tactic.

Boom and Zoom videos:


A Simple Heavy Plane Tactic

This was tested with a Corsair. I've had problems using this plane,
in part because previous American planes (Buffalo, Wildcat) could be
used in turning fights. This plane can't turn well at all, but it can
go really fast, fly through formations, and come back again.

So how do you get back to the fight when you can't turn? You do
a half roll (your cockpit should be facing the ground) and pull back
on your stick, doing a half loop back into the fight. Pass through
the formation in the horizontal at high speed, picking targets as
you move through the formation. 

More advanced tactics are described in the references in Section 6.
4B. Realistic versus Simplified.

Switch to realistic from simplified and you will start crashing, a lot.
The major difference is you're no longer shielded from abusing your
airspeed and your controls. You have to be much smoother and more
cautious when you start using controls, and you'll almost certainly
have to practice a great deal more. In the Hangar, where you can
purchase planes, you have the option to test fly planes. It will
probably take some hours of test flight to get the fundamentals
of Realistic flying down. It will not happen immediately.

I strongly recommend retaking the tutorials once you decide to make
this transition.

4C. Stalls and Spins

I recommend reading the Wikipedia article on stalls as an introduction
to this topic.

You stall when your plane is at a high angle of attack, and you lack 
the airspeed to produce lift over the plane. The nose will fall, and
depending on circumstances, may then start the plane into a spin.
A spin occurs when the plane has lost lift, is falling and circling
around the yaw axis: 


~~~~ on stalls ~~~~

The controller will start to shake slightly, and you will see the
"smoke" coming off the wing tips if either of these start to happen
stop pulling back or even let up a little if you didn't quite catch it
quick enough. If you're in cockpit view you should see a little camera
shake and hear the buffeting sound. Another sign that the plane is
getting in trouble is it will start to roll, this is the gyro effect
from the prop over coming the wing. You can counter this with a little
aileron input but only so much, as you slow down or turn harder you
will be less able to counter this roll and eventually stall.

In sim mode toggle the flaps to the combat position this will help,
but it will also slow accleration and lower your top speed so if you
need to gain speed raise the flaps. Avoid using the rudder in a hard
turn or just before a hard turn it makes the plane unstable. If you've
noticed when you hit the rudder hard then let off the plane will
wobble. If its still wobbling and you turn hard its likely to stall.

The faster you go the more forgiving the plane will be and you can
turn harder. The turn radius will be bigger but you can put more stick
in it. As you slow down you can turn sharper and faster but have to be
smooth and not put to much stick in it. When going slow, and I don't
mean really slow like maybe 200-250mph most planes you cannot pull
the stick all the way back not matter how smooth you are.

If you're flying American planes keep in mind except for the P-39 and
P-40 they were not meant to be turn fighters, they were meant for
boom and zoom. meaning keep your speed high, take a shot, then turn
away and extend away from the enemy, then make another run.

Word of caution with the P-39 while I like this plane a lot and it
turns very well, when it does stall it is prone to going in to a
unrecoverable flat spin. This is historically correct and I have had
it happen a few times in the game.

Edit: I didnt mention stall recovery. The plane will always roll to
one side or the other when it stalls. if it rolls right use full left
rudder and full left roll. If it rolls left use full right rudder and
full right roll. Also always push the nose down and go full throttle.
Once the plane comes out of the stall make sure the nose is down
slightly and don't try to turn again right away. give it a second or
two, literally before trying to turn again.


Flying ( and not crashing); is all about knowing a bit about
aerodynamics, and energy-management. 

First thing, spin recovery. If you go into a spin; put your nose down
(to increase speed)- and apply hard opposite rudder..opposite to the
direction you're spinning, and DON'T touch the ailerons (left
stick-what makes you roll): this is because on conventional planes,
stalls begin at the wingtips, and work their way inwards. At best,
the ailerons won't work , at worst..you'll just destabilize the plane

Once you can feel the plane coming right..you can use ( just a touch)
of aileron if you wish..but focus on building up your speed (which is
also your energy) before you try to pull up, or turn again. Everything
you do, every turn you make..costs you energy, hence the need to always
have adequate speed, as that's the currency you spend. This is also
called 'combat energy' and actually has nothing to do with combat. 
It refers to how much energy you have to spend (in turns and the
like), before you stall.

The best description I've heard regarding stall awareness..is that,
when you're about to stall/are close to the edge; the plane feels like
it's: " balanced on the tip of a needle, and about to fall off".
You can feel it..it goes all sluggish, and begins to 'fall' one way or
the other. In that case..your energy's spent, and you need more speed.
Full throttle, and fly in a straight line (or stop climbing, put your
nose down .. whatever it takes to increase speed). You won't be able
to maneuver, 'till you build up some more energy. In the external view,
you'll also get a visual cue: the vapor trails coming off the wingtips
are boundary layer air that's trying to detach itself from the wing.
You're near the edge of stalling.

Finally, when you pull sharp turns, you can feel the air resistance
that comes on quite quickly. Push much beyond this and you'll stall.
That's simply the turning limit of your plane. Once you begin to get
a 'feel' for all this ( trust me, it's all 'feel'..I'm not a pilot,
and neither are most people on here), you can then increase your
agility. By 'bunny hopping' the plane in turns, that is..by just
for a split second...'forcing' your way past that turn limit/ past
that air resistance. The plane will begin to stall, but only for a
second. Ease back, then force your way past that limit again. Hard
to explain in writing, but for every second, I might 'bunny hop'
into a turn say twice. For a three second turn, I'll hop, like,
6 times. But to do this, you first need to be holding the controls
at the right angle to be pulling a smooth turn at the limit before
doing the 'hop.

Anyway, hope that helps a little. Keep at it. Once you get a feel
for the flight model, you're set. Winning dogfights is all about
energy management, and controlling the plane at the edge of stall.
That's why it's so exciting!



Pretty much anytime the stick is pulled back all the way is going to
cause your plane to shutter, a clue that you're going to stall, and
then it will stall. Turn down sensitivity all the way, and almost
never pull back fully in the joystick. Watch for shuddering, when
you notice that, let up in the turn.

This should be enough to keep you from stalling too often.

Oh also, DO NOT try to make a full turn under 120mph or you will
definitely stall. Speed is probably the most important factor to
watch at all times, for all kinds of reasons. Without airspeed you're
not going to be doing anything except falling to the ground. 
4C. Programming a Stick

I strongly recommend using a stick for this game. No, you don't have
to, but I prefer it. It is best if you custom program the stick. It's
not that hard to figure out, and I'll give all of you how I've 
programmed mine, a Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X.

I follow largely the programming pattern suggested by redknightsoh5,
with some small amendments. His technique is given
here: http://bit.ly/I826HW

my mappings are:

Flaps Down			Down  +  X
Flaps Up			Up + X
Toggle Gear			Select Button
Wheel Brake			Left Stick (Down)
Toggle Airbreak		        Left + X		Right + X
Trim Aircraft(Simulator)	O button
Reset Trimming		        O + R2

Toggle Supercharger		L1 + R2
Toggle Engine			L1 + Triangle

Machine Gun			R3
Cannons			        --
Drop Bombs			L3
Fire Rockets			L1

Zoom Camera			R2
Zoom Camera (Simulator)	        R2
Toggle View			L2 Button
Lock Target			Square Button
Target Camera			--

Replay				defaults

Tactical Map			Triangle Button
Menu				Start Button
Continue			X button

The last three are also defaults

R2 is the upper button on the left handle (throttle).
L2 is the lower button on the left handle (throttle).

The original mappings had an issue, in that I never got separate
shooting of the machine guns and the cannons. The default mapping
from setting up the Thrustmaster T Flight Hotas overwrite the R1
mapping, so that I was shooting cannons and MGs from that button
anyway. I had no need to fire cannons without machine guns, but
did want to fire machine guns without cannons. So I have a separate
MG mapping but no cannon mapping.

I mapped the Gun View (for planes like the Dauntless dive bomber)
to Down plus R2.

I didn't feel I needed a Target Camera at this time as much as I
needed an easy way to launch rockets. So rockets are L1 and the
Target Camera is currently unmapped.

5. Things I need for this FAQ to Grow

If you know of something I've missed, or should include, write me 
some email! Yes, if you do, and I use what you send me, your name 
WILL be used in the FAQ. See the email address at the top for 

6. Resources and Notes

I'm using bit.ly to get the url length below 72 characters. To note,
most of my links will be coming from forums of various kinds.

WP in single player:   http://bit.ly/Ie3zb6
Good planes:           http://bit.ly/HtdG09
Tactics:               http://bit.ly/I7LCzJ
Tactics videos:        http://bit.ly/HteSkb
Wikipedia on stalls:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stall_(flight)
The stalls thread:     http://bit.ly/HlT31v

7. About the Author

I'm male, in my 50s. I have a bachelors in Chemistry and a PhD in
Biochemistry from Rice University that I don't use much anymore.
Still, the education was worth the trip, in a Bull Durham kind of way.
I write these things largely to help me understand the games I play.
I do believe if you can explain a topic to mostly anyone, then you
have a shot at explaining it to yourself. Or so the logic goes.

I co-wrote FAQs a few years ago that were well received, 
legend_of_mana_tempering.txt, and eternal_mana_weapon_synthesis.txt
The editor I used then and now was vim.

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